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Aram Shelton's Arrive
Hungry Brain; Sun 18
If the Chicago improvised-music scene were a series of roaring trains, passing each other by at uncomfortably close distances, then Aram Shelton would be the guy jauntily riding a bike on the street below. The Florida-born alto saxophonist, whose six-year stay in Chicago ended a few months ago, was an aberration in a scene devoted to the full-throttled, Peter Brötzmann–inspired "Chicago" sax sound that European audiences crave. He returns from the Bay Area this weekend to Hungry Brain to celebrate the release of his fittingly quiet new CD, Arrive, out on 482 Music. Remarkably gentle and economical, like a Lee Konitz solo manifest, Arrive is pure and deliberate. Some of the glacially slow movement of composer Morton Feldman creeps in here and there, but the energy of the Chicago players—vibist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer Tim Daisy and bassist Jason Roebke—never flags. Shelton's sax owes much to Ornette Coleman, whose soulful-sweet alto tone Shelton has adopted in faithful homage. After moving here in 1999, Shelton became a ubiquitous presence, playing most prominently in the acoustic-jazz trio Dragons 1976 and the wind instrument– laptop duo of Grey Ghost, a project that evidently sparked in Shelton a deeper interest in electronic sounds. This fall, he was accepted into the highly selective graduate program in electronic music at Oakland, California's Mills College (which boasts alums such as performance artist Laurie Anderson, composer Steve Reich and Deerhoof leader Greg Saunier). He's got new wheels on his bike, and long may he ride.
Back to Arrive album page.
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